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5th Annual Charity T20 Game - Donaghadee Cricket Club v The Belfast Telegraph - In aid of Autism NI
Winning the toss, Dee skipper Richard Carson had no hesitation in asking the Tele team to field. Carson had at his disposal at team that could bat right down to eleven so it was an easy choice. John Gordon and Mike Girvan were sent out to open the batting and to put some early runs on the board. However it was the Belfast Telegraph side who took the early initiative.
Some excellent bowling from Louie French and Mark Reilly, saw the Dee batsmen start to panic. Runs were at a premium and regular wickets fell with Patrick Boyd, Colin Maxwell and Lewis Manley bowling some devastating deliveries.
Donaghadee had to call upon the services of veterans Greg Cunningham and Trevor Shaw who managed to stay calm and then produce some fireworks of their own as the ball travelled all over the field. Some great catches from the likes of French, Mark Battisti and Odhran Burke put paid to the big hitting exploits of the Dee, although a late order renaissance from the likes of Phil McNamara and Ali Spence meant the Dee would finish all out for 129 off their 20 overs much to the delight of their supporters.
The Tele team faced a daunting total which would always prove to be a step too far … in fact a step MILES too far! The Dee bowlers had too much guile and craftiness for the inexperienced Tele batting line-up. Skipper Carson regularly changed up his potent bowling attack resulting in Scott Carson, Freddie Gilroy and Andy McLawrence all picking up wickets.
However there were some notable batting performances from the Tele team with Jordan McCluskey, Colin O'Hara and Marty Elliman showing some quick running, and delectable shot selection in at least making the Tele score respectable. The Elliman innings itself was a glorious one that will surely go down in Dee folklore, cruelly ended when he hit his own wicket. The Tele team would finish up all out for 73, well short of their victory target.
The game was played in a fantastic spirit that is testament to both teams. Pier 36 kindly hosted the post-game festivities where both teams and all supporters joined together to celebrate another fantastic match - of course the real winner being charity and Autism NI as this year's chosen one. Over the 5 years this charity game has now raised over £8,000 for local children's charities. Thanks to all who donated, supported and were involved in this year's game.
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